Hauppauge Legal Issues Blog

3 things to consider when making an estate plan

Your estate plan can help your family members handle your final affairs while they are still healing from their grief over losing you. Drafting your estate plan now insures it is in place before anything happens to prevent you from carrying out your intentions. You can start with a basic estate plan and work from there.

We realize that this can be difficult to contemplate. However, you can find peace of mind when you know that your affairs are in order. Below are some suggestions for drafting your estate plan.

Understand the signs of a serious brain injury

Every brain injury is different. It's difficult to say, especially in the immediate time after an injury, how it will affect the patient. A traumatic brain injury can cause minor symptoms or may result in massive changes to a person's abilities.

Traumatic brain injuries are caused by outside forces. You might suffer one if you hit your head on the wheel of your vehicle in a crash or if you hit your head after a slip-and-fall accident. A TBI causes a disruption in the way that your brain functions, resulting in symptoms such as:

  • Pain
  • Memory loss
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Unconsciousness
  • Changes in behavior

Know about different types of criminal sentences

The court has several options available for sentencing a person who have been convicted of a crime or who has pleaded guilty to a criminal charge. Before you set up your defense, you should be aware of what types of sentences you might be facing. Your defense attorney can help you to learn what the court tends to do in similar criminal cases, but don't think that you are going to receive the same sentence. There are many factors that the judge will consider when they are trying to determine what sentence is appropriate.

Some criminal statutes have a mandatory minimum sentence in place. This means that the judge has to issue at least that sentence, but they can also hand one down that is harsher. Typically, a mandatory minimum sentence has to do with an imprisonment term.

Spinal cord injuries come with considerable costs

Suffering a spinal cord injury is generally a life-changing event in a person's life. If the damage is catastrophic, there is a chance that the person will be paralyzed. Almost one out of every 50 people in this country are paralyzed to some extent. That translates to around 5.4 million people in this country. While not all of these are due to a traumatic accident, approximately 1,462,220 of them are due to a spinal cord injury.

There are around 390,856 spinal cord injuries that are due to a motor vehicle accident and 166,745 are the result of a fall. Each of these individuals now has to deal with the difficult impacts that come with this type of injury. This includes the financial effects that come from medical care and personal care needs. Across the country, spinal cord injuries cost around $40.5 billion each year.

Your will must meet New York requirements if you are a resident

When you decide that you want to get your estate plan together, you have to think about several options for getting everything set the way you want it. These can include power of attorney documents, trusts, a living will and a will. When it comes to the will that sets the terms for distributing some of your assets, you have to ensure that it meets state's laws.

New York's requirements for wills can be complex in some cases. There are some basic guidelines that apply to all wills, but there are some specific circumstances that are only applicable to members of the military during a time of armed conflict or war.

Plan your drunk driving defense based on the facts

Being charged with drunk driving triggers what can be a lengthy court process. Not only do you have to worry about the criminal case, you also have an administrative process to consider. Together, these can take a lot of time and effort, but you can't ignore either one. They both can have serious impacts on your life.

We know that this probably isn't what you pictured for your life, but it is certainly something that you must address right away. You are facing the loss of your driver's licenses, as well as possibilities of high fines and time in jail because of the matter.

Facing choices after a criminal charge can be a challenge

Facing criminal charges is a challenging event in a person's life. You must ensure that you are taking care of the case right away because it isn't going to go away if you ignore it. We know that this is a challenge, especially when you are going through it for the first time. Fortunately, we are here to help you work through the matters at hand.

Facing a criminal matter means that you have to think about all the options that you have. You must carefully consider diversion programs, such as drug court for drug charges, and plea deals. You need to also look at the consequences that you are facing if you go through a criminal trial. We can help you to look into these so that you are able to decide what you feel is best for your needs.

3 reasons you should draft a prenup

While many people think of marriage as their "happily every after," the reality is that 40% to 50% of couples in the United States end their marriages through divorce. While it may be impossible to know at the time of your engagement if you will become a divorcee, there is something you can do to protect yourself and your property in case things don't work out.

Prenuptial agreements are becoming more popular among people getting married, especially for those on a second or third marriage. Here are a few reasons you should draft a prenup before your big day.

What are the damages I can seek for a head injury?

Head injuries often have long-term consequences on a victim. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are roughly 1.7 million cases of traumatic brain injuries in the U.S. a year. Head injuries often occur as a result of a motor vehicle accident, a slip-and-fall incident or negligent behavior.


How to alter your estate plan after divorce

Once you make the final decision to proceed with the divorce process, it's important to turn your attention to your estate plan. If you neglect to make the necessary changes soon enough, it could impact you and your loved ones in the future.

Here are some of the many ways to alter your estate plan after divorce:

  • Update your health care proxy: You're not likely to want your ex-spouse to make important medical decisions on your behalf, should the time come. Update your health care proxy to name a new agent.
  • Update your will or trust: Unless you want to leave everything behind to your ex-spouse, update your will or trust with a new beneficiary or beneficiaries.
  • Review your life insurance policies: There's a good chance your ex-spouse is named as the beneficiary of your life insurance policies. If this is the case, make an immediate change. The law is the law, and if you leave your ex as your beneficiary, they'll receive the death benefit upon your passing.

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